Air Curtain vs. Air Conditioner: Which One Is Better?

Cooling has become part of our daily lives as most people expect air conditioning to make their homes, cars, and offices comfortable.

So it makes sound economic sense to create a visible or invisible and efficient air curtain that keeps the room cool by preventing hot or moist air from the outside.

But at the same time, it also makes economic sense to have an air conditioner that maintains temperature across the house. So which one do you think is the perfect choice for you? Learn more here.

Can I Use an Air Curtain as an Air Conditioner?

An air curtain works by using a fan to force a curtain of air downward. Hence, the air creates an invisible air barrier that helps control temperatures by preventing the entry of hot air through the doorway from outside.

Another advantage of using air curtains as air conditioners is that they limit the ability of environmental factors and contaminants such as flying insects, fumes, dust, and smoke from entering your interior space.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing Air Curtains


The height of the doorway is pretty much a key consideration when purchasing an air curtain for your space. To provide an effective barrier, the air curtain unit must have sufficient air velocity to cover the entire height of the doorway.


The width of the doorway is also a factor that needs to be considered. Why so? If this is not considered, obstacles such as a glass wall, a beam, or an air vent can cause the air curtain not to operate as expected.

It is important to note that the airflow should be wider than the width of the door opening. Air curtains that overlap the entire openings provide maximum protection against contaminants and pollutants.

Heating Source

The appropriate heat source that will be used to provide energy for the air curtain to operate is also crucial. Air curtains can be powered through electric or water-heated units in most cases.

So, to ensure maximum effectiveness and comfort, it is essential to choose the appropriate air flow heating system.

Pressure Difference

The primary function of air curtains is to isolate the indoor and outdoor environment. Therefore, the exchange between the environment and the temperature is not only the temperature difference but also the pressure difference.

In that case, there must be a pressure difference between the indoor and the outdoor environment. If the pressure difference is too large, it will accelerate indoor and outdoor air circulation. With that said, it is essential to choose an air curtain with a higher airspeed.

Purpose of the Air Curtain

Using your air curtain will also determine the air curtain that you will purchase. Air curtains have different purposes, such as preventing air conditioning or heat loss and cold storage.

So whichever purpose you want to use the air curtain for will help you know which one to settle for.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing Air Conditioners


Choosing the right size of an air conditioner based on the size of the room is very important. Most people assume that the bigger the size, the faster the equipment will perform, but this is not the case.

An oversized air conditioner does consume a lot of energy, thus increasing your energy bills, and at the time, a small air conditioner is forced to work extra hard to cool the room.

So with that, it is crucial to get a professional to help you choose the perfect size for your space.

Power Consumption

Air conditioners with higher ratings cost a lot, but they consume less power. It is a long-term investment, pay more for the purchase and fewer energy bills. So the higher the ratings, the less power the air conditioner will consume.

Air Quality

It is imperative to put the air quality that you want in mind when purchasing an air conditioner, as having an air conditioner with a good air filter helps improve the air quality in your home.

The air filters help remove dirt, debris, and dust from the air and ensure that these contaminants do not reach the evaporator coil, improving the air conditioner’s performance and energy efficiency.

So it is crucial to look for an air conditioner with suitable dehumidification units which will provide you with comfort and a better cooling effect.


The performance of your air conditioner will largely depend on how the air conditioner was installed. If the unit is not installed correctly, this could harm the efficiency and the air conditioner’s components.

It is advisable to get an authorized professional to help you install your unit to avoid mistakes.

Advantages of Air Curtains Over Air Conditioners

  • They save on space- The good thing with air curtains is that they reduce the initial construction cost and minimize floor spaces.
  • They save more energy- Air curtains help you save more energy than air conditioners.
  • They are easy to install- Installing air curtains is not as complex as you thought. Installing air curtains is much easier compared to installing air conditioners. They are easy to install and sit neatly at the top of the doorways.
  • They provide better comfort- One thing about air curtains is that they use less supplemental heat than vestibule heaters. The less supplemental heat they use helps enhance better comfort and reduces liability by maintaining drier entryway floors.
  • They ensure ease of access and design flexibility- Due to the invisible barrier of the air curtains, they provide a hidden barrier against outside elements without affecting the building design. Air curtains are effective in buildings such as commercial areas with open doors and are available for more extended periods.

How Does Air Curtains Work vs. How Air Conditioners Work

Air curtains can be used in two ways, namely:

  1. Open Doorway- Here, a stream of air runs continuously, keeping the cool air outside and the warm air inside.
  2. Behind a closed door- An air curtain can be used as a second line of defense behind a closed door in that the air curtain is activated only when the door opens and pushes air for a couple of seconds until the door is closed again.

As we mentioned before, air curtains use a fan to force a curtain of air downward. The downward air current acts as a barrier limiting the airflow between the two spaces.

This downward air current need to move at high speed to push any potential contaminants. This flow of high-speed air will also help ensure that unhealthy gases do not go into the building.

On the other hand, air conditioners work by using the air handler to draw warm air through your home’s ductwork, and as air is blown across the evaporator coil, heat is removed from the air cooling it down. The removed heat is then absorbed into the refrigerant running through the coil.

The refrigerant is then pumped into the condenser, expelling this heat into the outside air and cooling the refrigerant. Once the heat is expelled, and the refrigerant cooled, it is then sent back inside the room to start the whole process.

Are you now able to see the difference between the two on how they work? As you can see, they both function differently, but they both work with one aim of ensuring comfortable temperatures in your room.

Air Curtain vs. Air Conditioner

Installation Position

An air curtain is specifically meant to be installed at the entrance, that is, at the main door, and it cannot be mounted any other place apart from this area.

The air doors are mounted at the entrance, in most cases an open door, to precisely detach indoor and outdoor temperatures. They are also mounted on the door to create a robust air seal to keep conditioned air in the building and keep off dirt and dust.

On the other hand, air conditioning units cannot be installed at the entrance. Several factors need to be considered, and they include:

  1. Location of the windows
  2. Current ventilation
  3. The material of your floor
  4. Electrical appliances in the room


Since air curtains act as invisible doors, they operate by blowing air downward over an opening to maintain separation between two parts of a building or between external and internal environments without limiting or restricting access in any way whatsoever. They limit the ability of contaminants to enter the building.

Air conditioning systems operate by sucking air into the ducts through a vent, and this air is then used to cool gas in the evaporator, and as the heat is removed from the air, it is cooled. The ducts then blow air back into the room, and the process starts once again and continues.


Air curtains are made up of air inlets, fans, air outlets, and motors. Air currents get inside the air doors through the inlet, and the currents get compressed and ejected at high speed because of the fan’s effect. The compressed air jet prevents the entry of contaminants into the building.

Air conditioning systems have four major components: evaporator, compressor, condenser, and expansion valve, and these components function in sync with each other. They have a specific job to do to keep the system running.

Reasons Why You Need to Install an Air Curtain

  • State-of-the-art appliances are formulated to inhibit the entry of harmful organisms such as flying insects.
  • Generally utilized for operational applications where doors need to remain open. It enables to keep the door of the business area open, hence inviting the customers to enter.
  • Air doors can neutralize indoor temperature while windows and doors remain open and closed.
  • Air curtains are designed in such a manner that stabilizes interior temperature.
  • Air curtains guarantee the comfort of persons in the building and ensure a dirt-free atmosphere.
  • Air curtains act as an invisible barrier against the entry of contaminants and other environmental factors.
  • Air doors are energy efficient, and energy savings for these air curtains can be enough to reduce your monthly bills.
  • Air curtains are constructed with high-tech ABS without vibrant wind force.
  • They are noise-free as they operate without inducing any noise.
  • An air curtain has a sturdy fan that separates indoor and outdoor air temperatures.
  • Air curtains are the safest formulations for balancing cool and freezing temperatures.
  • High standard air curtains build a sophisticated air blockage to the door or window.
  • Air curtains offer a clear view of the inside of the premises so that the entrance area can be used as a show window display.
  • Air curtains increase security and facilitate the evacuation through the door in case of fire or any emergency.
  • An air door increases the usable space at the entrance as there is no need for a lobby.

Final Thoughts

Whatever system you choose for your space, whether an air curtain or air conditioning system, will depend on your taste and preference, but the best part is that this article will guide you in choosing the perfect cooling system.